Chinese firms lead the way in blockchain applications

21 Nov 2019

blockchainChina is outpacing other countries in blockchain technology, including the U.S.

This is according to a report by Japanese financial newspaper Nikkei on Wednesday, which said that approximately 7,600 applications were filed by Chinese firms between 2009 and 2018, around three times as many as U.S. companies.

As per findings from Tokyo-based research firm Astamuse, the U.S., China, Japan, South Korea and Germany collectively submitted around 12,000 blockchain-related patent applications through 2018, which China making up 60% of the total from the five countries.

A report by Coin Telegraph states that South Korea filed close to 1,150 applications within the same time period, while Japan submitted less than 380 applications.

Chinese retail giant Alibaba filed 512 applications, leading the rankings of corporate applicants compiled by Japan's NGB based on data from Innography.

Closely following Alibaba was UK-based nChain with 468, whilst IBM filed 248 applications.

Earlier this month, Chinese news programme Focus Report claimed that even though around 32,000 firms in China purportedly utilise blockchain technology, the real number is not 10% of that.

The report added that the blockchain industry in China is at the global forefront, with the total number of blockchain enterprises only surpassed by the U.S.

Last month, Chinese President Xi Jinping called for his country to speed up the adoption of blockchain tech as a key role in innovation. The President highlighted that the introduction of integrated blockchain technologies is vital in promoting technological innovation and transforming industries. 

According to Edith Cheung, partner at blockchain-focused venture capital fund Proof of Capital, China will “definitely” launch its new cryptocurrency within the next six to 12 months. 

She added that other countries should be ready to react, as China hopes to become the world’s first to issue a digital version of its national currency, stating: “I really think the United States needs to hurry up; to have a strong thinking and policy, at least a direction for virtual USD.”